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Archives for January 14, 2017

Frozen gardens give us a chance to rethink and plan ahead

Frozen gardens give us a chance to rethink and plan ahead

Containers and window boxes can provide a burst of color while those tender tropical plants are recovering

January 13, 2017

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The 19th Annual Austin Home & Garden Show

Start 2017 anew and find great solutions and inspiration to tackle those looming home and garden projects at the 19th Annual Austin Home Garden Show. Turn your home and garden dreams into reality with new ideas, fresh tips, latest products and the hottest home trends January 13-15 at the Austin Convention Center, 500 East Cesar Chavez Street, Austin. For almost two decades, the Austin Home Garden Show continues to captivate visitors with expert builders and contractors, celebrity guests, exciting presentations and fun activities for the entire family. The Austin Convention Center is transformed into a vibrant, colorful home and garden paradise, with thousands of square feet of dazzling displays, interactive demos, and experts in virtually every area of home building, remodeling, landscaping, gardening and wildlife. There are beautiful furnishings, state-of-the-art kitchen ideas, wall design and countertop displays, closet organization and storage, entertainment and technology, the latest in sinks, tubs, fixtures and even pools, spas and outdoor entertaining areas.

For the yard and garden, there are ‘outdoor living’ inspirations, with imaginative landscape displays, unique water features and a wide variety of plants and garden accessories to boost curb appeal. There will also be outdoor furniture, grills, spas and more. The Garden Wildlife Stage, will host everything for yards, gardens and hardscapes including the Bamboo Society of Austin, Diamondscape, Inc., Stone Deck and Goodness Grows in Austin. Make it modular this year with the Modular Showcase where you can tour durable, sustainable container homes. Plus, don’t miss the entertaining and educational Birds of Prey shows.

Whether it’s a small home improvement project or a complete renovation, guests can visit a complete selection of home improvement and expect one-on-one time to consult with expert builders, contractors, remodelers, interior designers and landscapers among others. Some of the top professionals in the industry are available to offer invaluable advice and practical ‘how-tos’ on everything from common topics such as gutters, walls, and flooring to home security, green living, media technology, and the latest on solar energy.

On the Celebrity Stage, the Austin Home Garden Show is thrilled to host special celebrity guest Alison Victoria of DIY Network’s “Kitchen Crashers”. Alison takes the stage with an entertaining and insightful presentation on kitchen space including planning, lighting, organization and how to give your kitchen a facelift with audience involvement. The Celebrity Stage will also host Modular Living Experts Stevie Bear Austin Hedges of Make It Modular with a glimpse at tiny living, improving the functionality of your living space with Dalton Point Construction Owner, Mike Moore, and Built Custom Green Homes’ Dennis Celsor with energy efficient secrets for new homes.
Families can take advantage of fun interactive activities including the Kids Project Zone, featuring COSTCO Kids Activities with movies, coloring, and crafts, Lowe’s Kids Make-N-Take Workshop to activity fun with the Bamboo Society of Austin. Saturday and Sunday the Austin Fire Department will be on hand with kids fire education, coloring books fire hats. For animal lovers, visit the Pet Zone with pet adoptions by the Human Society of Austin. For the shoppers, there is a unique Art, Gift and Gourmet Center with artisan foods and handcrafted gifts, GO TEXAN products and gourmet treats such as jams, dips, pasta and sweet treats.

The Austin Home and Garden show accepts credit card, cash or check at the door. Prices are $9.50 for adults (17+), $8.50 for seniors (65+)* all weekend, and free for 16 and under. Admission is also complimentary for all active duty military personnel (valid ID required). For best value, purchase adult tickets in advance, online at and receive $2 off (2 weeks out and earlier). *No further discounts applied to senior admission. Receive $1 off discount coupon at or At the door, receive $1 off adult admission with a donation of canned good(s) which will be donated to the Capital Area Food Bank of Texas. In addition, free totes and sunflower seeds are available for all attendees while supplies last.



Sponsored by Austin Home and Garden Show. Opinions expressed by guests on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.

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Rain may cause unexpected problems in the garden

It’s winter and it’s raining. We all know what that means. It’s time to think about too much water where we don’t want it.

  • With all of the rain, be sure to check that container plants aren’t drowning in their pots. If you can, move then to a protected area, and during times of heavy, prolonged downpours, cover them with plastic.
  • Raising potted plants off the ground will help with drainage. Companies sell risers that lift pots and containers about an inch or so off surfaces, but you can make your own with small pieces of wood or flat rocks. You just need to clear a space beneath the pot so the water can drain quickly through and away.

  • Your in-ground plants might be suffering from too much water, too. If you created wells around your plants, shrubs or trees during the drought to capture water and let it slowly soak in, you should breach the walls and let the standing water flow away.
  • It’s best to avoid walking on planted areas and garden beds during or after heavy rains. The soil — now mud — compacts more easily when it is saturated, and when the ground dries out, you end up with very hard soil.
  • In areas that aren’t draining well, consider digging shallow canals that will help direct the water away. You also can try using a garden fork to poke hole in hard soil to encourage the water to go down.
  • Although the ground may be saturated and your containers well-watered by the storms, don’t forget to check on your plants that are under protected areas, especially those in pots. In the midst of the deluge, they could be dying of thirst.

— Joan Morris, Staff

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Looking toward spring: native plant landscaper gives gardening tips at Takiff Center talk

Even as snow can be found on the ground, some people are still looking for gardening tips.

In an hour-long program on Jan. 11, native plant landscaper Monica Buckley, the owner of Chicago’s Red Stem Native Landscapes, spoke about the types of plants that will not only thrive in shade, but are native to the region and thus beneficial to the environment.

During the program, sponsored by the Friends of the Green Bay Trail and held at the Glencoe Park District’s Takiff Center headquarters, Buckley ticked off a number of possibilities for the aspiring shade gardener such as wild geranium, merry bells or spring beauty.

“They are part of the native habitat, which means they co-evolve with bees and butterflies in the region and thus support increasingly threatened species, such as the monarch butterfly,” Buckley said.

5 garden tips for the week starting Jan. 14

So many options

Now is the best time to buy and put in a surprising variety of plants. These include bare-root roses, berries, fruit and shade trees, vines and perennial vegetables, such as artichokes, horseradish and rhubarb, which grow and yield their produce year after year. Also, choose azaleas, camellias, cymbidium orchids, primroses and other winter flowers while they are in bloom. Don’t overlook the winter-flowering succulents and cacti. Be sure to water them in well after you plant them.

Daylily care

Clean up daylilies and start new plants by snipping off the leafy little plantlets that developed on old flower stems. Leave a couple of inches of the flower stalk attached to the sprouts to anchor them in the ground, and trim the leaves of the plantlets down to 2 or 3 inches in length. Bury the bottom of the plantlet only a half-inch or so deep with the length of flower stalk deeper to hold it in place. Water lightly and do not feed until early spring.

Azaleas, camellias

Deadhead azaleas and camellias as flowers fade. Deadheading is the removal of old flowers. This is necessary on azaleas, because dead azalea flowers hang on and look ugly. It’s necessary on camellias to prevent spreading of petal blight, a fungus disease that rots camellia flowers and turns them brown and mushy.

Citrus highlights

Continue harvesting Washington navel oranges as needed, leaving the little green “star” on the fruit as you cut it off the tree with pruning clippers. Citrus stores best on the tree, because it stops ripening once picked, and it holds longest after picking if the “star” stays on. Besides, citrus fruits will continue getting sweeter on the tree. Taste-test kumquats; they should be ready for harvest any time now. Some varieties of tangerines will benefit from several more weeks on the tree; so will grapefruits. Apply micronutrients to all citrus trees to assure the sweetest possible fruits.

Water wise

Check for broken sprinkler heads and repair them. Also, with cooler weather, plants don’t need as much moisture. In fact, for some types of plants, too much moisture during cool weather can damage roots and even kill entire plants. For most of us, automatic sprinklers can safely be turned off until spring except for windy or warm spells. No sense wasting our precious water — or your precious money to pay for unneeded irrigation.

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